Mesa Verde National Park is an American National Park located in Montezuma County, Colorado. A great concentration of ancestral Pueblo Indian dwellings that were built from the 6th to the 12th century is found on the Mesa Verde plateau at an altitude of more than 2,600 m and it was called Cliff Palace. About 4,400 sites have been recorded and that includes villages that are built on the Mesa top.
Cliff Palace was built by the people called Ancestral Pueblans, who are also called Anasazi that means ancient ones. Those people were native to the Four Corners region of the United States of America, where the states of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona intersect. There were around 100 to 125 people who lived here between 1200 and 1300 AD. They accessed this place with the aid of wooden ladders. You can also see imposing cliff dwellings that are built of natural sandstone along with wooden beams and mortar and comprise more than 150 rooms. It was home to the native American’s and after living there for nearly 700 years, they vanished.
The cliff’s view will be more clear when you visit Mesa Verde National Park, where the ancient culture is preserved and celebrated. Visit the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum to see a collection of artifacts, displays, and dioramas. If you drive for almost 10 kilometers on the Mesa Top Loop road, you will be able to see numerous dwellings at an elevation of 2,134 kilometers and you can also see Petroglyph Point Trail see the carvings in rock and Sun Point Overlook for a perfect picture of canyon view.
The national park contains more than 4000 archeological sites that include cliff dwellings, masonry towers, pueblos, etc. The park also gives access to the hiking trails that leads to scenic looks where you can see amazing views of the desert landscape. During winter, you can use these trails for cross-country skiing.
Things to do in the Mesa Verde National Park
- Stop at the Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center for information, orientation, purchase tickets to visit Balcony House or Cliff Palace.
- Visit the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum, view Spruce Tree House nearby, and drive the Mesa Top Loop Road.
- Hike the Far View Sites Complex.
- Take the Wetherill Mesa Drive and hike or bicycle the trails to the mesa top sites and cliff dwelling overlooks.
- Join a ranger for your ticketed tour to Long House.
- Take a self-guided tour of Step House.
Weather at the Mesa Verde National Park
Since the visitors spend their time outdoors during the visit to Mesa Verde National Park, you will have to be prepared for the climate. Daily forecasts are available at the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum and at the Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center. In the winter, the weather will be mild and sometimes snowstorms might occur as late as May and as early as October. From June to September the weather will be warm or hot with cold evenings. Thunderstorms are very common in the month of July and August.